Myofascial Release

February 10, 2011

Myofascial Release has gained enormous popularity among osteopathic and manual therapy practitioners in recent years. There has been an enormous amount of research and information of the effectiveness of these techniques, and they all point to breakthroughs in therapy for patients.   Let’s break down what Myofascial release is and explore why it is so effective.

Myofascial release can be broken down into two words.  “Myo” meaning muscle, and “fascial” which is  relating to the fascia.  Since most of you know what muscle is, I will spend the next few minutes discussing what fascia is and its importance in the body.

So, basically, every little piece of connective tissue in the body is called fascia.  All of the extra “stuff” between the muscles and between the organs is of incredible importance to the body.  There is so much fascia in the body that if you were to take strip everything else away, you would still see a perfect silhouette of the human body.  Muscles glide along fascia, fascia holds organs together, and connect them to the body wall, fascia separates the sections of the brain and covers the spinal cord literally from head to tailbone.

What therapists have discovered is that a restriction in the movement of the fascia significantly reduces the efficiency of anything that is attached to it…which is everything!  For example, if the fascia between the stomach and the liver (called the lesser omentum) is extremely tight, the functions of the liver and the stomach are both directly affected.  If the fascia between the bones of the leg, the tibia and fibula, is extremely tight, then the knee, hip, ankle, and foot are all directly affected.  And, since there are arteries and veins that pierce this fascia, even the blood supply and nervous flow are compromised.

And that’s not all…years of research on fascia have confirmed that there are what are commonly called “Myofascial Chains”.  There are direct lines of fascia, single long pieces of connective tissue that literally run from head to toe.  This means that tension of the fascia in one area of the body can cause debilitating dysfunction in other areas of the body.

As a therapist who knows and understands these Myofascial chains assesses the body in a global manner, meaning they do not just look at the area that is sore or injured, I quickly see strain patterns that are causing misalignments and postural problems.  A prime example of this is commonly known as “forward head posture”.  The patients chin is more forward than it should be, they are rounded in the upper back and shoulders, and have a lot of neck pain and stiffness.  They commonly feel they need to “stretch it out” but never can.  The reason they feel this way is because they are stretching the symptom area, not the problem area.  It is very common to find low back, stomach, and intestinal/digestive problems with these same patients.  The fascia around organs in the mid or low back are causing the entire head to be pulled forward out of alignment.  Place your hand just under your ribs on your stomach, and press in and down…do you feel what happens to your head and neck.  The chin instantly moves forward out of alignment…you can just picture the rest…tension in the back of the neck and shoulders, knots in the upper back between the shoulder blades that are trying to compensate, and on , and on.  All this from a Myofascial pull from lower in the abdomen.   I literally see this every day.  Every day.

Now you can begin to see why utilizing Myofascial techniques is so incredibly powerful.  More often than not, it is the most effective tools to effectively treat our patients.  Used in conjunction with all of the other Osteopathic assessment and treatment tools, you can begin to see why Osteopathy is the fastest growing manual therapy in Canada.

Jason Brandow, BSc TR, CST
Osteopathy Current Study & Thesis Writer

For more information contact Ultimate Sports Therapy at or visit us at

4 Bodies you need to take care of

February 10, 2011

Good Day everyone,

It has been a while since I have written anything. I have been busy studying and learning from the people I have been working with.

I have really learned about health and wellness looking at what I call the different bodies.

Energy body

Emotional body

Mental body

Physical body

And how each can affect your health individually and in combination with each other. If one is affected it can and will over time affect the other ones.

That is why it is so important to look after each body and make sure they are in harmony.

To give you some examples

Energy Body – is the body that takes on positive and negative energy be it your cell phone, computer, power wires, positive or  negative people, places or things just to give you an example.  Will affect your energy body positively or negatively depending on the situation.

Emotional body—when you think of emotions of being positive, happy, grateful, in love vs being negative mad, sad, depressed.

Mental body- this is important like a muscle you have to work it out but not over due it. Make sure you are living towards a dream and enjoying the journey.

Physical Body – This is one that is most talked about in the media, books, articles…etc using the physical body you have to make sure you are exercising and using your body daily. If you do not use it you lose it. Also you have to make sure you do not over train.

The reason why I wanted to give you a little foundation about this is because working with people all across the world I have found that if you do not harmonize all bodies then the issue will come back.

I have seen this with health issue, business, relationships challenges you name it.  When I first started working with people I was working on the Physical by making sure people were eating the right foods, sleeping properly, hydrating themselves, exercising properly, then I would work on the mental emotional challenges because I know hormonally the body was balancing out nutritionally.  I had some success but I found that there were certain people that would fall back into the same routine.  Which I would have to go back through the process and make sure they were on track until I started to work on all the bodies. Once I incorporated energy work and balancing with all the other coaching my success rate increased. The people were getting better result while feeling amazing through the process.

What I recommend if you are dealing with any life challenges is to do this first work on the

1 st Energy body- have some energy work done from a Reiki Practitioner to help you get balanced out

2 nd Physical body – get on the right nutrition plan and exercise program to help balance out your energy, hormones and focus

3 rd Mental body – have an over arching dream that you are working towards by learning your Legacy, your values and setting proper goals

4 th Emotional body- make sure you doing the above and your emotional state will change if not see a professional that can help teach you why your emotions are not serving you and how you can manage them.

I am going to go into more detail for each body and how to achieve success in each area.

Love & Chi,

Brandon Krieger,
Clinical Director, Holistic Lifestyle Coach, Reiki Practitioner & Professional Speaker

For more information contact Ultimate Sports Therapy at or visit us at

How Massage Can Benefit Parkinson’s Patient

February 10, 2011

Recently I had a discussion with a client regarding Micheal J. Fox, he of 80’s hits Back to the Future and the TV show Family Ties. These days he is also recognized  as the self-appointed spokesperson for those who suffer from Parkinson’s.  Many of us have a relative or know someone that has been affected by Parkinson’s, and most people also seem to have many misunderstandings of how this affects people and what can be done for treatment.

Named for the Doctor who first clinically documented in 1817, it kills the cells that create a chemical called dopamine in the part of the brain (the basal ganglia)  that is responsible for balance and co-ordination. Generally it does not occur until mid to late 60’s, but can affect some between 21 and 39, such as our dear Canadian-born Micheal J. The main difference being that the younger group characteristically has twisting movements and tend to respond better to drug therapy.

Parkinson’s often begins as something as simple as more hunched shoulders or a shaky little finger. It can progress into postural changes from contractures, slow shuffling gait and tremors at rest (when  the person is attempting to  be still), and eventually immobility. Other symptoms can appear such as fatigue, constipation, depression, problems swallowing and speech difficulties. The cause is unknown and there is no cure though research is ongoing, and through the success of symptom treating drugs such as Levodopa, over 50% of  of those affected can now live to average life expectancy. It is no longer a disabling death sentence.

I can hear you already- Jennifer, what the heck does massage have to do with a disorder that attacks the  central nervous system??  Massage techniques can aid where the body’s functions have become limited- such as poor tissue health by encouraging venous return(blood) and lymphatic flow(waste). Feedback during the treatment is important as there can be sensory changes, in that some areas may be painful that are normally not. Manually moving joints and stretching of the muscles and tissue by the therapist to maintain their range of motion and the clients body awareness is also recommended.  This also helps to limit the contractures that can  form. Standard abdominal massage can also help with any constipation, all done slowly and gently as to not overstimulate the nervous system. One hour weekly massage treatments are recommended.

What can the Parkinson’s client do on their own? Any movement programs such as Tai-chi and Yoga to help with flexibility, balance and co-ordination. To maintain cardiovascular health, regular walks and gentle exercise programs within the clients tolerance  and avoid fatigue.

If you have Parkinson’s, or know someone who does, feel free to contact me at the clinic for a free clinical assessment today.

Yours in health,

For more information contact Ultimate Sports Therapy at or visit us at

Jennifer J. Lamore, BAA, RMT
Registered Massage Therapist Toronto & Mississauga, Ontario

The Benefits of Jumping Rope

February 10, 2011

Training in boxing for numerous years has made me accustom to warming up and using a jump rope for conditioning in training.  I think I have used almost every type of rope imaginable from multi-coloured beaded ropes, leather, PVC rope to 2 to 5 pound weighted ropes and enjoyed learning foot work, doubles, triples, crossovers and 180 to 360 turns.   There are many benefits to taking up jumping rope.  It can be used as a very cheap and easy way to train the aerobic and anaerobic energy systems or as variety to spice up any training program as well as an activity for the enhancement of any sports or athletic program.  I also use it in mid to late stages of healing and into a return to sports phases of rehab.

To elicit an aerobic training response with rope jumping you must maintain a consistence speed that holds your heart rate between 70 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate – your maximum heart rate can be calculated by taking 220 and misusing your age i.e. if you were 30 years old you take 220 – 30 which gives you a maximum heart rate of 190 beats per minute in peak exertion.

However rope jumping has its best benefits in a power phase of training when the anaerobic system is being utilized.  In this phase the greatest gains are capitalized on to peak competitive advantage in speed which is quickness over a sustained period of time,  agility which is one’s ability to accelerate, decelerate and make quick changes in direction as balance, speed and control is maintained and in an  athletic explosiveness.

The best surface to jump rope on is a hard non-slip surface.  Soft surfaces provide more give but require more energy to push off which slows down the speed and momentum much like running in sand does.  This will increase muscular endurance and strength but does not capitalize the plyomentric effect of speed rope work.   This works by using gravity to store potential energy in the muscles which immediately turn this stored energy into kinetic energy.

But what rope is best?  Just as with choosing any other exercise equipment quality and material matter.  Jump rope made from leather have been around for 90 years but waste energy on turning the rope and the rope is not adjustable making one have to turn the rope in wide circles if to big or hunch over if the rope is to short promoting poor posture and injury.  Thick cord, beaded, heavy, cotton or nylon ropes are made from slow turning materials and slow the speed of each turn create drag therefore no matter how fast you try and turn the rope the rope will not turn fast enough to benefit hand and foot speed needed in sports.  A speed rope like a hyperformance swivel ball bearing rope will help develop and produce lightning fast reflexes.

An easy guide to measuring your rope to ensure it is the right height for you is to stand on the center of the rope with one foot and pull the two handles to measure up with the armpit.  A more experienced jumper can use a shorter rope, one that extends from the foot to the upper chest.

Happy skipping!

Book; Jump Rope Training techniques and programs for improved fitness and performance by Buddy Lee

For more information contact Ultimate Sports Therapy at or visit us at

Carolyn Zepf
osteopathy (current study) & Certified Athletic Therapist, Keynote & Professional Speaker

Why Osteopathy?

December 2, 2010

Ever since I took action to enhance my career by studying osteopathy at Canadian College of Osteopathy my patients have been asking me what exactly it is I’m studying.  Some of my patients have been adventurous and attempted to put a defining word to what it is which usual ends up being “osteo means bone right? or “oh osteopathy, you do treats on bones?”  My answer is always “yes along with the rest of the body.”

The profession of osteopathy is so vast in its entirety that it is difficult to give a brief explanation as to what exactly it is, but I am going to attempt this great feat!

Let’s start by saying that osteopathy is a science and an art.  Curious statement I know, but when you see that it is a science because it requires a keen and in depth knowledge of anatomy and an art because through the use of trained hands an assessment of the entirety of the patient can be gained that statement starts to make sense.  Osteopathy comes from the word “osteome” which means structures of all living matter i.e. bone, soft tissue, organs, veins, arteries, etc.  and “pathos” which translates into “a profound emotion” or “an emotion which needs to be expressed”.   So when you put “Osteome” and “Pathos” together to form the word “Osteopathy” you have a word that implies that the whole person and how they express themselves must be taken into consideration as that person is treatment in their entirety.   It is the job of the osteopathy to restore mobility to each system so the body can be balanced both in its internal and external environments.

Over the past 3 months I have been incorporation osteopathic techniques into my patient’s treatment plans with great success.  I had a new patient a few weeks back that came into the clinic with a hamstring strain that normally takes 6 weeks of rehab to heal.  In three treatments over a week and a half I used a few osteopathic techniques to regain balance in the lower back, hip area and balanced out the body to create homeostasis.   My patient can back for their 4th treatment and had regained their normal range of motion back in their hamstring and their pain was down from 6/10 to 2/10 and I had not even touched their hamstring yet!  Another patient I had not seeing in a while came in last weekend for treatment after a car accident.  Their body was achy and they were visibly tired.  I did an hour treatment for them.  A few days later they came in and looked wonderful.  Their colour was back and the dark circles under their eyes where gone along with their stooped posture.

If you have not had a change to be treated osteopathically now is the time.  If you are unsure as to what an osteopath can treat just remember an osteopath is able to assess anything in the body and works with other health care professionals to ensure your greatest quality of health.

For more information contact Ultimate Sports Therapy at or visit us at

Carolyn Zepf
osteopathy (current study) & Certified Athletic Therapist, Keynote & Professional Speaker

Tools of the Trade Part3 G.O.T/Oscillatory Techniques and Pumping

December 2, 2010

G.O.T stands for General Osteopathic Technique, and is the very first technique taught in Osteopathy here in Ontario.  It is a technique that can be applied to any joint in the body from the feet to the neck and shoulders.  G.O.T is very good for tight sore muscles and is quite often the go to technique for aches, strains, and trigger points.  G.O.T is non invasive, very safe and extremely effective.  I use this technique on every patient, every day.

Sometimes when a muscle or joint is assessed by a clinician, if feels very boggy or congested. The muscle has been damaged for so long that the natural fluidic nature of the tissues has been replaced with adhesions and feels full of knots. This is where Pumping techniques are applied.  Pumping techniques are also taught very early on and are used to help with fluid movement in, out, and around the affected muscle or joint.  Again, this technique is very gentle, non-invasive, and only a very light stretch is needed to make it work.

G.O.T and pumping techniques are not only used as treatment of a tight muscle or fascia, but also used to improve the efficacy of the Extra Cellular Matrix (ECM).

The ECM is “everything in between” the cells of the body.  It is from this gel like substance that most of the nutrition for cellular activity is stored and transported.  All of the working materials that cells need to function float around in this endless nutritional pool.  Within the ECM the building blocks of life are waiting to be put together and used to support cell function and repair.  Think of it like a natural floating pharmacy, open 24/7.  Everything the cells need to thrive and survive is in the ECM.   It is literally the lifeline to all cells of the body.

When a joint is damaged, or a muscle is sore and tight, there is a change in the state of the ECM.  The ECM gets more gel like, and you often feel inflammation and boggyness around the joint/muscle.  When this occurs, all of the cells that require the nutritional components from the ECM suffer, and cannot repair themselves properly.  G.0.T and pumping techniques are used to directly change the state of the ECM from that gel state into a more naturally fluidic state.  When this change occurs, the inflammation goes down and the boggy feel disappears. The muscle/joint has a greatly increased capacity to heal because the nutritional components are fully available for supportive repair.  We have increased the vitality to the affected area to its normal state of health.

I can’t tell you how many times I have come across a patient who has seen multiple doctors and therapists with little to know results.  What we look for, the vitality of the tissues, is very unique to craniosacral therapists and osteopaths.  The vitality to the area, the fluid movements between tissues, the quality of the ECM, these are the overlooked parameters that we look for FIRST!  Before range of motion techniques, before exercises, before anything else, it is our job to make sure the patient has the vitality in their body to heal from the inside out.  Our whole philosophy of practice is to re-align the patient on the path towards health, and watch them flourish.  G.O.T and Pumping techniques are two of the tools used to do just that.

Jason Brandow, BSc TR, CST
Osteopathy Current Study & Thesis Writer

For more information contact Ultimate Sports Therapy at or visit us at


Pre and Post Event Massage- win the race, or at least be ready for the next one!

December 2, 2010

Previously we spoke about types of massage, and in this edition as promised I’m going to further discuss when and where a sport massage is appropriate.

Depending on your level of previous sports experience, you may or may not have already experienced the benefits of a pre and post tournament massage. For those that have not, such as those of you who compete at an amateur level, or just purely for fun, I will explain.

Most competitive sports teams have many medical professionals travel with them when they compete and train-doctors, Chiropractors, Nutritionists, Athletic Therapists, and yes, even Massage Therapists. Just like the members of the team, they travel on the team bus and endure early and complicated schedules. Even Racehorses have massage therapists – (Equine Massage-something which I also have extensive training in!).

Some of the eastern martial arts already incorporate massage and bodywork techniques as part of their training- Karate, Jeet Kune Do, Maui Thai etc. (though with Muai Thai   massage it involves the vigorous application of  spicy-hot oil!) Tui-na (the use of brisk movements of the hand including the knuckles) and lots of stretching.

Now, you are thinking- “My goodness, if Horses can get massages, why shouldn’t I ?”

(at least I hope you are!!)

Unfortunately, the old “I’m a tough guy, tough guys don’t get massages” attitude prohibits people from the possibility of competing at a higher level that the athletes, (and horses!), I  previously mentioned do.

Like what? Increased range of motion- meaning possible further strikes, faster reaction time, increased confidence, decreased recovery time.

Definitions: Pre-event massage: Generally a quick, light, invigorating to maximize blood flow. It may or may not involve some stretching provided by the therapist. This also can help with your pre- event jitters, relaxing and centering you, giving you a confident edge over your opponent.

Post-event massage: Important to have promptly after your event, especially if you have sustained any injuries. Massage helps with removal of waste products, aiding your systems in flushing out metabolites, and avoiding complications from bruising such as “myositis ossificans”- (the calcification of the blood within a muscle or to a bone. The more severe the contusion, the greater risk this has of forming.) Also at that time other old injuries that becoming irritated can be attended to. The therapist may also suggest a visit to the appropriate medical professional, should the injury suggest further investigation   that is outside of the massage scope of practice.

So, if you think you might want to keep up with the other racehorses, book your massage Today!

For more information contact Ultimate Sports Therapy at or visit us at

Jennifer J. Lamore, BAA, RMT
Registered Massage Therapist Toronto & Missisauga, Ontario

Ultimate Sports Therapy Annual Pot Luck Holiday Party

November 24, 2010

Brandon Krieger Holistic Lifestyle Coach Clarifies Ultimate Sports Therapy’s Name

November 18, 2010

I see so many people looking at our name Ultimate Sports Therapy and really thinking a few things. Like they only treat extreme sports and wouldn’t be able to help me with my injury.  The other one I hear is don’t you only treat athletes?

I can completely understand how Ultimate Sports Therapy’s name can give people that impression.

When we developed Ultimate Sports Therapy we really wanted to become the leaders in Holistic Therapy. The word Ultimate for us means to be the best of the best at Holistic Therapy. Now people think of Sports as football, basketball, baseball, hockey, soccer, boxing, mixed martial arts. I am sure we can all agree our definition of someone that plays sports is considered to be an athlete. Now what if I told you that everyone is an athlete because we all have to squat, twist, lunge, bend, push, pull and walk. With that definition if anyone moves they are an athlete.  Last but not least Therapy, we have decided to take a holistic approach to therapy not just looking at the injury but looking at the whole person. We look at the nutrition, sleep, hydration, stress levels, mental, emotional, posture and the injury as a whole. This way when someone gets treated we make sure we are treating the cause not the symptom.

Now when you hear the name Ultimate Sports Therapy you will know we are working towards being the Best in Holistic Therapy for all people.

Brandon Krieger,
Clinical Director, Holistic Lifestyle Coach, Reiki Practitioner & Professional Speaker

For more information contact Ultimate Sports Therapy at or visit us at

Tools of the Trade! Jason Brandow Osteopathy (thesis writer) Explains Muscle Energy Technique:

November 18, 2010

Tools of the Trade: Muscle Energy Technique


Muscle Energy Techniques were discovered by Dr. Fred Mitchell D.O.  Dr. Mitchell invented the series of techniques to help his son, Fred Mitchell Jr., learn basic biomechanics as he was also studying to become an Osteopath.  What it evolved into from there is a powerful series of techniques that can be utilized on any muscle of the body to restore normal range of motion and mechanical function.  Fred Mitchell Jr. is the instructor of Muscle Energy at the Canadian College of Osteopathy, which is the college I attended.  Therefore, the muscle energy techniques I learned are straight from the horse’s mouth, with no “lost in translation” effect or dilution of experience.


You will most often hear the word “normalize” used by osteopaths and craniosacral therapists instead of the word “improve”.  For example, it is the goal of Muscle Energy techniques to normalize the range of motion of a muscle.  It is not useful to say “improve” since it is impossible to get a muscle moving better than perfectly…and normal = perfect.


How does it work?


First, a basic understanding of what is called the “stretch reflex” is necessary.  When a muscle is stretched, it should easily move through its full range of motion until there is an endpoint felt in the joint, but, when a muscle is stretched very quickly or abruptly near the end range, there is a natural protective action that occurs to protect the muscle from being overstretched and damaged.  This is called the stretch reflex.  At a specific point of the muscle stretch, the muscle contracts to protect itself from damage.  All of this happens in a neural loop from muscle to spinal cord, and back to muscle.  It happens even before your brain is told it is doing it…even before you feel it.  It is innate, it is powerful, and very effective.


When a muscle is in dysfunction due to injury or repetitive strain, there is an alteration in the function of the stretch reflex.  The muscle is in a protective state, and the stretch reflex forces the muscle to contract much sooner than normal to hold the joint in an altered position.   This altered joint position will take pressure off of a nerve to decrease pain sensation.  Over time, the joint will usually normalize itself, and the pressure on the nerve will be released.  Unfortunately, the body is extremely cautious and the stretch reflex of the muscle is held in a more sensitive position for longer than needed.  This is what muscle tension is.  This is what causes a tight, sore, achy muscle.  The muscle is always contracted.  It is always in a protective state.


Muscle Energy to the rescue!


What a Muscle Energy technique does is normalize the stretch reflex to its proper place.  It normalizes the output of the motor neuron so that the muscle can instinctively relax to a normal state.  No amount of massage or heat or stretching can do this.  Muscle Energy techniques are the most effective form of treatment for normalizing a tight restricted muscle, and that is why the techniques have stood the test of time and are used by therapists around the world as the go to technique.


Of course, life is never quite that simple, is itJ.  As mentioned earlier, the joint that the muscle is protecting must be healed first, or the muscle will continue to protect it.  Therefore, Muscle Energy techniques are what we call “integrative” techniques.  This means that after we spend most of the treatment correcting misaligned joints, compacted vertebra, and sheered viscera, Muscle Energy techniques are used to integrate these changes in the body and help them stay.  Muscle Energy techniques are an integral part of Osteopathy and Craniosacral Therapy.  Alone, Muscle Energy is a good treatment.  Together with the rest of the Osteopathic Tools, they are astoundingly effective.


Jason Brandow, BSc TR, CST
Osteopathy Current Study & Thesis Writer

For more information contact Ultimate Sports Therapy at or visit us at


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